What is the impact of rubric-based coaching on teacher instructional practice and student achievement outcomes?
In 2014, we began to deliver virtual mathematics coaching to teachers in two Wisconsin districts. As part of this project, we recruited 142 teachers (Grades 3–8), assigning 72 teachers to participate in our program (treatment group), and 70 teachers to a control group. Teachers in the treatment group videotaped their classroom mathematics instruction, then met with coaches to view and analyze that instruction, and to plan for improvement. Coaches and teachers used the Mathematical Quality of Instruction (MQI) protocol to structure this work. In total, 23 coaches at Harvard University worked with 68 teachers, meeting nine times, on average, over the course of the 2014–2015 year. Coaching sessions focused on helping teachers improve in several areas:
- increase student participation in mathematical reasoning and explanation;
- make more use student mathematical ideas in instruction; and,
- enhance mathematical sense-making and meaning.
Early Findings: Results are Positive and Promising
Students of MQI-coached teachers report that their teachers ask more substantive questions, and require more use of mathematical vocabulary as compared to students of control teachers. Students in MQI-coached classrooms also reported more student talk in class. Teachers who received MQI Coaching tended to find their professional development significantly more useful than control teachers, and were also more likely to report that their mathematics instruction improved over the course of the year.
Teacher Perceptions | Teachers who received MQI Coaching reported that:
Student Perceptions | Students of teachers who received MQI Coaching reported that:
Read more: MQI Research Study
Target Areas for Improvement
“MQI has helped target specific areas for teachers to focus upon for improvement, rather than having them feel overwhelmed by trying to improve everything at one time.”
-Director of Curriculum
Use Video for Better Understanding
“The stock videos were definitely the most useful. Being able to show a strong example or at times a weak example (and build from it), was incredibly beneficial in helping the teacher to better understand the [example] and to understand what it looks like in practice.”
Receive Ongoing Support
“This was my first math coaching experience, and I felt so well prepared! The initial training, check-in webinars, and calibration webinars were so helpful, as was the overall structure and communication.”